Become Financially Literate with Confidence

It is never too late to start taking steps to become more secure with your financial situation. Tom Littlepage, Vice President and Relationship Manager at Workers Credit Union, meets with members regularly to discuss their whole financial picture. To him, being financially literate means a person feels comfortable with their finances and their short-term and long-term goals for the future. Below are three insights that can help you determine your level of financial literacy.

Talking About Your Finances is the First Step

Financial literacy is just as important whether you have $100 or $1 million. Even the most affluent people can lack basic budgeting skills, thinking that paying their bills on time is enough. But it’s important to understand the long-term impact a good savings plan or budget can have on your financial situation. Consider analyzing your finances, reviewing your credit report, and thinking about where your money is going. By talking about your finances, whether it be with a financial expert like a Workers Way certified financial coach or with a trusted loved one, you can become more financially literate, while reducing your stress level.

Tom helped one woman he worked with realize she was not doing as well as she thought, and her income was not meeting her basic needs. She then got a new job, almost doubling her salary. The woman is now doing better, improved her credit score, and is more financially stable than she once was. By seeking help, she was able to learn more ways she could improve her financial picture.

Financial Literacy Looks Different for Everyone

There are different levels of financial literacy, depending on where you want to be in life. If your goals are to save for vacation or to buy a house and you have a good grasp over those goals, you may be just as financially literate as someone who trades in the stock market and invests. The key is to have a good understanding of your own financial picture, no matter what your goals are.

Every generation has different financial challenges. There are also stigmas around talking about finances, both culturally and age-related. In some cultures, talking about finances is frowned upon and that makes it an unspoken, uncomfortable topic. These challenges can affect overall financial literacy.

There's Always More to Learn

Many people were not taught about money in school. Only about half of the adults in the United States are considered financially literate, according to a MarketWatch Guides study. Because of that, it’s common to need some guidance to confidently manage your finances. Tom worked with a couple who made nearly $200,000 per year collectively but were spending most of it. He helped the couple raise their credit scores and save up for a down payment on a house, which they are planning to buy soon.

Financial literacy leads to more stability. If you’re open to discussing your finances to get a good grasp on your situation, you’re well on your way. Workers Way certified financial coaches can give you an objective review of your budget to help you understand where you can lessen your stressors. 


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